Forum: Community event could have focused on Deepavali instead

Devotees at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Oct 26, 2019.
Devotees at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Oct 26, 2019.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas SMC organised a Fright Night event for Halloween at Tiong Bahru Park last Saturday.

I applaud the efforts by grassroots organisations to foster greater community bonding by organising such events.

However, instead of organising an event centred on an ancient European pagan ritual, the organisers could have, instead, conceptualised a bazaar or a street party celebrating Deepavali, the Hindu festival of lights (which was, coincidentally, only one day away).

This would have provided the population of new citizens in Tanjong Pagar GRC an opportunity to learn about Singapore's multifaceted culture and varied religious festivals.

It would also have provided an opportunity for non-Hindu Singaporeans to understand more about Hindu festivals. A lot of my Singaporean friends still have the mistaken notion that Deepavali is the new year for all Hindus.

Jason Goh Yew Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2019, with the headline 'Community event could have focused on Deepavali instead'. Print Edition | Subscribe